Terebesti, Romania - Part 2

We are still in our first day at Terebesti. Weíre spending time walking around and seeing the houses. I will be sitting with Joschi and Laslie this afternoon to get some of my questions answered. We always thought Pityuís house to be the house my dad grew up in. In the process of digging into the family tree these past few years I found information which indicated it was not. When my father got married in Cleveland, Ohio, he had to get proof of baptism from the church in Terebesti. We have a copy of that document and it contains the house number where he was born in 1907. It is a different number than the one which Pityu lives in.

Talking with Joschi and Laslie I found out that when the village was first started houses where given a number as they were built. No two houses in the village had the same number. The houses were not built in any order, therefore the numbers jumped all over the place. Mail was and is still not delivered to the house, but a box in the post office. The houses were known by the person who lived in it when it was built. Sometime in the 1930ís it was decided to renumber the houses and other buildings in a sequential order. Nobody ever thought to keep a conversion of old number to new number. Therefore the location of any old house number is lost forever. And I am the only one who cares.

On May 2, 1937, there was a bad fire; six houses all in a row were burned completely down. One was where Laslieís house now stands. It was rebuilt a year later. He thinks that my dadís father lived in that house when my dad was born. Laciís Grandmother (my grandfather's sister) took the house over years later and paid her siblings for their share.

So my quest to find the houses for which I had all these old house numbers came to a halt. But we know that my father did not grow up in Pityu's house. His house was not purchased or built until my grandfather came back from making a pile of money in USA. A couple of years after he came back my father left for the USA. So my father only lived in Pityu's house for a couple of years.


Arriving at Pityu's house.

Pityu and Martha set the kitchen table up in the yard. It is a nice sunny day with a light breeze.

Margareta walked all over the village with us. I am sure she is tired but she would not leave our side.
She would not sit. The chairs were for the their company and the children.


I wonder what the inside of Pityu's house looks like. I see electric wires and a TV antenna on the roof.

Martha stayed in the background. She helped set up the table and brought out food.
She would not sit with us. She is happy just watching and listening.


I asked Martha to show me where she sleeps. The shirt she is wearing says "Together to Win" in Italian. She sleeps on a couch. The room is very filthy, has poor lighting, and has junk all over. Without the camera's flash, the room is very dark. I did not have a good feeling about how my first cousins lived. I continued on to see the rest of the house.

Wherever I went the house was dirty and unkempt.

This is where Pityu sleeps, I think.

Mom bought this refrigerator for Pityu's parents when she visited with Dad in 1972. The inside looked like it was never used. The outside is very dirty. I lost my cool and went outside with the translator and told Pityu that I was ashamed of him and how he lives and takes such poor care of Martha.

I should not have done it in front of Martha. She did not understand me and I do not think the translator was keeping up with me. But you can see that Pityu was not happy and Martha was shook up. I felt that I am his closest relative and it was my responsibility to tell him that I felt he was not doing well.

I apologized to Martha and told her she was a good person and did nothing wrong.
I thanked her for the food and drink she gave us. She seemed to forget everything and was happy again.


As we walked around the village, we came across the post office. Terri, there is no ZIP code on the sign!

Back at Olgaís house. Margareta did not want to stop hugging me....

... or holding my hand.

Getting ready to leave Olga's house. Terri, me, Margareta, Olga, Olga's son Romeo, his wife, and Joschi.

Joschi and Margareta are discussing something and Olga's son is listening. He is leaning on his new milk vat pasteurizer. It looks about the same size as a 200 gallon pasteurizer I saw on the internet after I returned home. He only has 12 cows. I wonder if he provides a service for other farmers.
There is a stack of wallboard on the floor. He is in the process of fixing up the porch. He is a hard worker.


The grand kids enjoy playing with the calves. The calves and cows all have names. I saw the chickens in the yard and asked what their names were. The kids laughed and said that you do not name chickens.

They showed my how the cows push down on the lever to get water to flow into the bowl.

The Mekker cross. It marks the plot of farmland the Mekker's owned at one time.

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